With Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo
scheduled to ship to Pimlico on Wednesday, May 18, the field the Holy Bull
colt will face in the May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) is taking shape.
Derby runner-up Closing Argument was being shipped from Churchill Downs to Belmont Park, where he will be readied for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
"He's very consistent and lightly raced and that should be to our advantage in the Preakness," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "He had a 60 day layoff in-between the Delta Downs Jackpot and the Holy Bull, then nearly a 75-day layoff until the Blue Grass. Obviously the Triple Crown campaign is hard on everybody, but we are confident that we are going to run back very well."
According to Pimlico officials, Kentucky Derby (gr. I) third-place finisher Afleet Alex will van from Kentucky to Pimlico Wednesday morning.
The connections of Derby sixth-place finisher Wilko contacted the Pimlico horsemen's relations staff to report they are booking space on one of the Wednesday May 18 flights from Louisville to Baltimore.
Also, owner B. Wayne Hughes contacted stakes coordinator Wendy Pensivy at Pimlico Monday morning and told her to expect to see the name Greeley's Galaxy entered in the Preakness. A $200,000 supplementary entry to the Triple Crown, the Mr. Greeley colt finished 11th in the Run for the Roses.
Trainer Warren Stute said, "He looked allright after the race. We'll know more in a day or two. He shipped back to California soon after the Derby."
The Wednesday flight from Louisville will contain several of Nick Zito's runners. Zito, who had previously said Andromeda's Hero was going to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), said two of his five Derby starters would run in the Preakness but did not identify them.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has also not said which horse he will run in the Preakness and he has a five-horse contingent shipping to Pimlico on May 18.
Also under consideration is Don't Get Mad, the Derby Trial winner who finished fourth Saturday, with trainer Ron Ellis indicating the decision will be made by the end of the week.
Flower Alley (9th) and High Limit (20th) are headed back to New York and would be late arrivals should their connections decide to enter.
Scrappy T, winner of the grade III Withers, will arrive at Pimlico on Sunday morning, May 15.
The only Preakness contender who has not only raced at Pimlico but has a win over the track is Tesio Stakes winner Malibu Moonshine, trained by King T. Leatherbury.
Hal's Image, who did not run in the Derby, is also being aimed at the Preakness.
The Preakness is limited to 14 starters but there has not been a full field since 1992, with 12 of the last 13 years producing a double-digit number of starters. The top seven are determined by graded earnings, the next four by earnings minus restricted races with the final three spots determined by overall earnings.